Frequently Asked Questions
There are a variety of reasons including fruits or vegetables that were:
- had “bad” spots, already beginning to decay
- blossom ends (pickling cukes – especially important!) weren’t removed
- leaving out at room temperature, especially when over 72F, so mold develops
- stored too long in warehouse or in root cellars
- immature – picked too early so not enough sugar/starch development
- infested with fruit flies
Here are some technical fermentation reasons why spoilage occurs:
- not enough salt
- food is sticking above the brine
- initial fermentation occurred when temperatures were too warm – above 72F
- initial fermentation occurred when temperatures were too cool – below 68F
- not stored in a cool place – root cellar, basement or refrigerator
- not skimming “scum” or “pancake” waxy-style yeast growth from top of brine
- fermenting container wasn’t sterile
- using ground spices instead of using whole spices
- old spices which had fungus spores
- using iodized salt
- using chlorinated or fluorinated water
Failures are good for experience. When dealing with living-food, just like with all other living-creatures, you can expect a wide variety of experiences and variables! Unlike their dead-nutrient, pasteurized counterparts which have nothing to offer as far as living nutrients, enzymes, probiotic benefits, fermented foods are worth the journey of learning! Don’t be discouraged!
Did you know...
Pickling is a global culinary art. If you were to go on an international food-tasting tour, you’d find pickled foods just about everywhere. You might sample kosher cucumber pickles in New York City, chutneys in India, kimchi in Korea, miso pickles in Japan, salted duck eggs in China, pickled herring in Scandinavia, corned beef in Ireland, salsas in Mexico, pickled pigs feet in the southern United States, and much, much more.
—Science of Cooking, Pickles
I looked at crocks there before I discovered Pickl-It. I couldn’t stomach the cost. I love the simplicity, durability and features of the Pickl-It. You really are brilliant!
—Andrew C., New Hampshire